Friday, December 26, 2008

1928 - Red Nichols - "That's No Bargain!"

There seems to have been some hostility towards Red Nichols in the jazz community in the 20s - it seemed that he arrived before Bix Beiderbecke as the modernistic innovative white jazz trumpeter, and when Bix arrived, Red, not the genius soloist that Bix was, was seen as somehow maliciously covering him up.

Nevertheless, Red Nichols was a genius at one thing: bringing a group of musicians together to create a unique and exciting sound, getting cutting edge efforts out of his soloists, and getting them to work interactively to craft gemlike recordings. Of Red as a soloist himself, well, his tone is very bright and hard edged, his attack has been described as "military", and his solos, while always innovative, sometimes don't make any sense.

But his best sessions are like nothing else...

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